Main benefits of smart cities

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One of the main benefits of Smart Cities is that their technology can help them operate more efficiently, improving the services they offer for citizens and businesses.

Smart Cities harness information and communication technologies to improve the service they provide, the well-being of citizens, sustainability, and economic development. In short, technology applied to Smart Cities can make cities more efficient.

5 BENEFITS OF SMART CITIES

Smart cities that leverage connected technology in all their operations reap a host of benefits. Here are some benefits of Smart Cities that should be considered:

1.- Effectiveness in data-based decision-making

Advances in big data and connected devices have allowed cities to access information that was hitherto unavailable. A well-designed data analysis strategy offers the ability to access and analyse a wealth of information. It also allows us to easily obtain useful knowledge. Service levels increase rapidly when a city can monitor metrics in real time.

Effective big data applications and strategies provide cities with information to, among other things, identify trends and citizens’ interests, concerns, and needs. The combination of the Internet of Things and Big Data offers endless possibilities for more robust decision-making.

2.- Improving public commitment

The digital services offered by Smart Cities must be high quality and easy to use. Collaboration tools, modern and intuitive websites, mobile applications, self-service portals, and online accounts have become the standard in many facets of life. Citizens expect their city to be ready to use these technologies.

The expansion of digital services in communities makes Smart Cities a more attractive place for residents to live. It also promotes a connected experience in order to create closer relationships with citizens:

  • Open government data.
  • Interactive maps.
  • Government scorecards.
  • Budgetary transparency.
  • Local Council meetings broadcast live.
  • A strong presence on social media.

3.- Creating safer communities

A Smart City is a safer city. Some of the benefits of Smart Cities come from innovative technologies. Such technologies may include:

  • Vehicle-plate recognition.
  • Connected law enforcement facilities.
  • State-of-the-art emergency call services.

Many cities have already begun to invest in smart technologies to promote a safer community. The City of Detroit recently partnered with local businesses to develop a connected cloud-based video platform. This platform gives police the ability to access video from corporate security cameras in real time. Violent crime has decreased by 50% in areas where this system has been implemented.

4.- Improving the environment

The fight to improve the environment is now high on the public agenda. Smart cities are doing all they can to combat negative effects on the environment. Such effects include the increase in greenhouse gases, the waste in our oceans, and litter on our streets.

Energy-efficient buildings, air quality sensors and renewable energy sources provide new tools for cities to reduce their ecological impact.

The deployment of air quality sensors around a city, for example, can provide data to track peaks in low-quality air. These sensors can even improve pollution in densely populated cities. They can also identify the causes of this pollution. This means the data needed to develop action plans can be duly provided.

5.- Improved transport

Investment in smart urban transport is expected to increase by more than 25% annually over the next five years, according to SmartCity. Connected transportation systems are perfect for improving efficiency in cities. An example of this could be improved traffic management, or even the ability for passengers to track bus or train locations.

Smart technologies allow cities to better serve citizens, even despite their rapid growth. Technologies such as smart traffic signals optimise traffic flow. This can relieve congestion at times of heavy traffic.

The benefits of Smart Cities are therefore clear. It is hard to ignore the many benefits that connected cities offer. However, as with any significant citywide technology initiative, implementation requires vision, investment, and careful planning in order to ensure successful take-up. 

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